Hamilton: Mercedes must now rise as a team

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Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes must put the clash between himself and Nico Rosberg in the past and now focus on rising as a team to secure both F1 titles in 2014.

The British driver slipped to 29 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship following their on-track incident at the Belgian Grand Prix, which saw Rosberg try an overzealous move on the Briton that left him with a puncture.

Many questioned just how the two drivers could reconcile in the wake of this incident, but after talks in England today with Rosberg and the team bosses, Hamilton has urged the team not to dwell on the situation.

“Today we came together as a team and discussed our differences,” a statement from the 2008 world champion read. “Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.

“What’s important is how we rise as a team from these situations. We win and we lose together and, as a team, we will emerge stronger.

“There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences.”

Hamilton said that both he and Rosberg must not risk damaging the team effort for their own personal gain.

“We have the greatest team, the strongest group of individuals who have worked their hands to the bone to give us the best car you see us racing today,” he said. “It’s important that we never forget that and give them the results they deserve.

“Today, Toto and Paddy told us clearly how we must race against each other from now on in a fair and respectful manner. The fans want to see a clean fight until the end of the season and that’s what we want to give them.”

When concluding his piece, Hamilton underlined his commitment to fighting for this year’s world title, in spite of the points deficit he faces with seven races remaining.

“It’s going to be a tough road from here but championships have been won from much further back than I am now,” he said. “I promise you that I will be giving everything and more to win this for my team, for my family and for my fans.”

With statements from both drivers and the team now issued, Mercedes will turning its attention to next week’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.